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Babylons Peak Viognier-Roussanne 2018

ID No: 446668
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 International Wine Review: 90
Country:South Africa
Region:Swartland Region
Grape Type:Viognier
Winery:Babylon’s Peak
Product Description

Babylons Peak Viognier-Roussanne is made from 60/40 blend of Viognier and Roussanne 

Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.

Complex flavors of flowers, peach, dried pear and apricot with a long, smooth finish on the palate.


Review:

"This 60/40 blend of Viognier and Roussanne offers a perfume of white flowers and a finely focused palate of spice and white stone fruit with just a touch of minerals and white pepper. At the time of tasting, this wine had just been bottled and was for that reasons a bit closed; the 2017 vintage we also tried was richer, more expressive and had a lovely, slippery lanolin mouth feel. - Don Winkler" - i-winereview.com (The Wines of Babylon’s Peak in South Africa’s Swartland, September 30th 2019), 90 pts

Winery: Babylon’s Peak

Babylon’s Peak is a private cellar located on the slopes of the Paardeberg Mountains between Malmesbury and Paarl.


Four generations have farmed here, passing down their winemaking knowledge and passion through the ages. Current winemaker Stephan Basson joined his father in 2003 and started making wine under the Babylon’s Peak brand. Stephan is a passionate and warm-hearted family man. He has dedicated his life to the wine industry and is passionate to keep the Basson legacy alive through the range of characterful Babylon’s Peak wines.

The name Babylon’s Peak is derived from the very high granite peak on the farm, which is known to local people as ‘Babylonstoren’ (in English, ‘The Tower of Babylon’). Some of the highest vineyards in the Swartland region are found here at about 700 metres above sea level. The Paardeberg area is characterized by decomposed granite soils and unique terroir which result in optimum soil expression and fruit purity. All the grapes used for the wines are carefully selected and treated before the wine is made in the traditional way. Being a private cellar, they have the opportunity to select and bottle only the best quality wines.

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Babylons Peak Chenin Blanc 2018

Babylons Peak Chenin Blanc is made from 100 percent Chenin Blanc.

Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.


The Chenin Blanc grapes were picked from very old dryland bushvine vineyards. The vineyard grows on weathered granite soils, contributing to the flavor of the grapes and mineral character of the wine. Production is limited to 5 tons/ha.
The grapes were harvest by hand at 22.1°B. The grapes were destalked and lightly crushed. Only the first 450 litres free-run juice per ton were fermented in stainless steel tanks at a cold temperature (10-12°C) for 21 days. The wines was left on the fermentation lees until bottling.

A crisp, fresh and fruity Chenin Blanc from low-yield dryland bushvines.

Pairs with salads, seafood, chicken and other light dishes. The perfect wine for every occasion.

Review:

"This unwooded Chenin is made from a single vineyard of 38+ year old dry farmed bush vines planted on granitic soils. It offers a complex bouquet of minerals and tropical fruit with an herbal edge. The palate is crisp and mineral like with appealing guava fruit notes. Stephan aims for a fresh style, and he succeeds. One doesn’t typically age an inexpensive wine like this, but giving Chenin additional time in bottle often enhances complexity and richness. Stephan showed us a 2007 vintage of this wine, and it had evolved into a delicious, rich wine of honeyed peach and dried apricot. - Don Winkler" - i-winereview.com (The Wines of Babylon’s Peak in South Africa’s Swartland, September 30th 2019), 90 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90
Babylons Peak Paardeberg Shiraz 2018

Babylons Peak Paardeberg Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz. 

Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.

A classic Shiraz with dark fruit, violets and white pepper. An elegant wine with ripe tannins and a lingering aftertaste.

The grapes were harvested by hand. The grapes were destalked only, no crushing was done. Cold maceration was done before fermentation started in open fermenters. The grapes fermented between 24-26°C for 5-7 days, after which the wine was taken to barrels where it went through malolactic fermentation. After malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine spent 14 months in 225 litre French oak barrels until bottling.

Pairs with rich and creamy meat dishes eg. oxtail and venison.

Review:

"The Shiraz is our favorite of the Babylon Peak portfolio. It offers nice purity of black fruit with a licorice note on the nose and flavors of blackberry, mocha, and a touch of dried fruit. It’s softly textured with good supporting acidity and has an attractive cracked pepper spice note. Fermented with some viognier skins and matured 12-14 months in oak barrels. - Don Winkler" - i-winereview.com (The Wines of Babylon’s Peak in South Africa’s Swartland, September 30th 2019), 91 pts


 International Wine Review: 91
Babylons Peak Pinotage 2017

Babylons Peak Pinotage is made from 100 percent Pinotage.

Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.

Dark red color, with ripe plums and mocha on the nose. Dark fruit followed by spice on the palate. A well balanced wine with smooth integrated tannins.

The Pinotage is dryland bushvines, planted on the highest south-east facing granite slopes on the farm. Due to its unique terroir, this vineyard ripens slowly over a very long period. This results in very dark color, soft tannins and good flavor compounds. The baboons normally harvest their quantity first and we pick the rest.


The grapes were harvested by hand at 25,6°B.and destalked only. No crushing was done. Cold maceration was done before fermentation started in open fermenters. The grapes fermented between 24-26°C for 5-7 days, after which the wine was taken to barrels where it went through malolactic fermentation. After malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine spent 12 months in 225 liter French oak barrels until bottling.

Pairs with lamb, bobotie and braaied red meat.

Review:

"Semi-opaque. An outstanding value in South African Pinotage, the 2017 vintage shows an effusive nose of dark cherry, chocolate and tobacco. It’s big and rich in the mouth with flavors that evoke black raspberry and dark cocoa powder. Quite ripe in style with a long finish. At 14.5° alcohol, it’s a big wine. - Don Winkler" - i-winereview.com (The Wines of Babylon’s Peak in South Africa’s Swartland, September 30th 2019), 90+ pts

 International Wine Review: 90
Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvee Oumuamua 2018

Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvee Oumuamua  is made from 52% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 13% Syrah.

As our story unfolds, we learn that with the 2018 vintage, there has been a fundamental change in the style of Le Cigare Volant. Not that there was anything at all “wrong” with the thirty-four vintages preceding the current one, mind you. For a number of reasons, mostly, alas, drearily fiscal/economical, the older style of Cigare has unfortunately proven to be a not particularly sustainable proposition at least from a financial perspective. The “new” Cigare, with a re-adjustment of the encépagement, by which we have dropped Mourvèdre from the mix and elevated the percentage of the (greatly underappreciated) and quite brilliant variety, Cinsault, creates a style of wine far more approachable and seductive in its youth.


“Cuvée Oumuamua?”
We call this cuvée, “Oumuamua,” (or “scout” in Hawaiian), so named in light of the recent mysterious cigar-shaped object/visitor to our solar system, initially imagined to be some sort of asteroid, but believed by none other than the chairman of the Astronomy Dept. at Harvard University to possibly be a sort of probe, perhaps a solar-powered light-sail, sent on a kind of reconnaissance mission to check us out. (Ok, this last part is a bit of interpolation.) Anyhoo, it has been agreed that this was a very, very strange object that recently came to visit. And it appears that it may have arrived in the very nick of time, to bring a sort of much-needed revitalization to our planet, and by metaphoric extension, to the Cigare brand itself.


TASTING NOTES
 The color is a deep, vivid violet-red, owing in part to the lower pH of the wine. On the nose, the wine has a haunting kirsch nose (I suspect that’s the Cinsault), along with associated small red fruit (red and black currant) and perhaps a suggestion of blackberry. My colleague, Nicole Walsh and I toil away at the Cigare blend every year, and while the blend will change (sometimes radically, as it has this year), we share an idea of the Platonic form of Cigare, and the ‘17 certainly embodies that form. It goes something like this: Juiciness, fruit (but not confected or overripe), brightness, exuberance, joy, and not least, a sense of savoriness. I realize I’m not speaking orthodox wine parlance. We look above all for balance and for liveliness, for vinous qi. This wine is still incredibly young and just wants to jump out of its shoes.


INEYARD | PRODUCTION NOTES
The Alta Loma Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco area of Monterey County, was planted years back to one of the earlier selections of Tablas Creek Grenache clones, typically not a great selection for imparting real backbone or structure to the wine, but capable of making a wine that is enormously pretty and fragrant; in cool years, the fragrance of cassis or black currant is almost overpowering; most surprisingly, the Grenache in cool years from this vineyard is profoundly black in color. The Cinsault was sourced from the Loma del Rio Vineyard, a vineyard, under a previous nom de guerre (San Bernabe), we know quite well. This was the first year of production for the Cinsault and it was thinned multiple times both for enhanced concentration and evenness of ripening. The cooler climate gives the Cinsault a wonderful articulation of flavor, but what is most noteworthy is the fact that we were able to coferment the Cinsault with Syrah from the equally cool Mesa Verde Vyd. in the Santa Ynez Valley. Something magical happens when Syrah and Cinsault marry; the healthy tannin titer from the Syrah seems to give more structure to the Cinsault, helps to stabilize the color, and in general, insures that the blend will not evanesce tout de suite into the aetherial plane. The spicy, licorice component from the Syrah is a perfect foil to the Griotte cherry derived from the Cinsault.


Appellation: Monterey County
Vineyards: 48% Alta Loma, 35% Loma Del Rio, 6% Mesa Verde, 6% Zayante, 4% Rancho Solo 1% Lieff
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
TA: 6.1 g/L
pH: 3.62
Production: 11,500 cases
Cellaring: Drinkable upon release (6/19) with ageability of 7-10 years



Weinkeller Erbach Riesling 2018 (liter)

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Weinkeller Erbach Riesling (liter) is 100 percent Riesling. 

Round and refreshing wine with light touches of lemon and lime on the nose. Slightly sweet mouthfeel, with juicy and fruity flavors.

Alain Jaume Cotes du Rhone Rouge Haut de Brun 2018

Closeout!

Alain Jaume Cotes Du Rhone Rouge Haut de Brun is made from 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault

The colour is purple-tinged garnet.The aromatic range of the nose goes from fresh berries (wild raspberry, blackcurrant, blackberry) to spices.The palate is big and full-flavoured, with silky-smooth tannins and aromas of the fruit already mentioned. The finish introduces touches of liquorice and pepper. A Côtes du Rhône with great complexity for an every day drinking.

A classic Rhône to drink between 1 and 4 years. Best poured at 17°C.

Traditional wine making and ageing is performed in vats only. Bottling after 10-12 months.

Ideal throughout the meal, but particularly with poultry and other white meats, as well as mild cheeses.

Review:


"The 2017 Côtes du Rhône Haut de Brun is in the same ballpark as the 2016, with a similar level of concentration, yet it has more dark fruits as well as good minerality. This medium-bodied, concentrated, fresh 2017 will keep for 7-8 years.


There are few better run estates in the world than that of the Jaume Family’s Domaine Grand Veneur. Located in the northern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and run today by brothers Christophe and Sebastien Jaume, the estate produces a quasi-modern style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (their Les Origins and Vieilles Vignes) as well as a growing number of negociant based wines from throughout the Southern Rhône. The 2017s whites are terrific across the board, and this vintage has produced charming, pure wines that are already drinking beautifully. The 2016 reds are some of the finest I’ve tasted from this estate."


- Jeb Dunnuck (August 2018, LE MILLÉSIME… The 2016s from the Southern Rhône - Part 1), 88-90 pts




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